Without debating the substance of the ACA or the arguments used in the King vs Burwell ruling, the Supreme Court functions within a gray area. On one hand it should not be their purpose to correct or reject bad legislation, not should it be their goal to interpret so widely that they in effect create legislation.
The ACA, Obamacare, was hastily and sloppily constructed to push the legislation through during the window when the Democrats controlled both Houses, and their advantage was slipping away when Republican Scott Brown replaced the deceased Ted Kennedy in the Senate. The fact that they did not get a single GOP vote said as much about the way is was passed as it did about the substance of the bill.
Too often legislation rushes past the deliberative and thought process to pass general ideas, often poorly reasoned, to be finished by a bureaucracy that is absent from the discussion. Serious questions are kicked down the line to be reasoned later by the administrative bureaucracy. To the extent that we now risk a Supreme Court to interpret or correct sloppy legislation we simply encourage more sloppy legislation.
There is no reason we should not expect better from our legislators. Such partisan sloppiness on such a significant bill should be unacceptable. While opponents may be angered by the Supreme Court’s decisions their anger should be directed at the Congress who passed this monstrosity.
Don Boudreaux similarly stated in his excellent blog, Cafe Hayek, An Advantage No More of Legislation:
One of the benefits that legislation is said to enjoy over evolved, unwritten common law is that legislation’s meaning is allegedly more clear and more concrete and, hence, more objective and more certain. This advantage for legislation is said to spring from legislation being carefully and precisely articulated and written down. The written text of each proposed bill is pondered, debated, and polished before it is enacted, and that which is enacted is written down explicitly and with precision in words that can be read and understood by all (or at least by each affected party’s agent-lawyer).
If and to the extend that such explicit articulation and writing of legislation was ever really an advantage over evolved common law, the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority ruling in King v. Burwell has done much to strip legislation of this advantage.